Marc Ouellet
Denomination Roman Catholic Church
Senior posting
See Archbishop of Quebec
Period in office 15 November 2002- current
Religious career
Priestly ordination 25 May 1968
Date of birth June 8, 1944 (1944-06-08) (age 73)
Place of birth La Motte, Quebec
Styles of
Marc Ouellet
CardinalCoA PioM
Reference style His Eminence
Spoken style Your Eminence
Informal style Cardinal
See Quebec

Marc Ouellet, PSS (born 8 June 1944 in La Motte, Quebec, Canada) is a Canadian Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church. He is the present Archbishop of Quebec, and thus Primate of Canada. He was elevated to the Cardinalate on 21 October 2003.

Early life and ordination

He was born in 1944 in La Motte, a small village near the city of Amos in northern Quebec. Ouellet attended the Teacher Training College, earning a baccalaureate in education, before obtaining a license in theology from the Grand Séminaire of Montréal. On 25 May 1968, he was ordained a priest by Bishop Gaston Hains of Amos.

Professor and theologian

Ouellet spent most of his priestly career as a professor and rector in seminaries. He also received a license in philosophy from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas (Angelicum) (1976), and a doctorate in dogmatic theology from the Pontifical Gregorian University (1983).


Ouellet was named titular archbishop of Acropolis and Secretary of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity on 3 March 2001. Pope John Paul II personally consecrated him as an archbishop, with Cardinals Angelo Sodano and Giovanni Battista Re as co-consecrators, on 19 March of the same year in St. Peter's Basilica.


On 15 November 2002 he became Archbishop of Quebec and Primate of Canada (installed on 26 January 2003), and has been one of the most staunch defenders of the Catholic faith in the Canadian hierarchy.

Ouellet is fluent in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and German. He is known for his missionary work in South America.


He was a cardinal elector in the 2005 papal conclave, and numerous observers believed that Ouellet was papabile himself. A report said that Ouellet had supported Joseph Ratzinger, who became Pope Benedict XVI. Cardinal Ouellet remains eligible to vote in any future papal conclaves that begin before his 80th birthday on June 8, 2024.

A Eucharistic Congress took place in 2008 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the foundation of Quebec City. Cardinal Ouellet was elected the recorder, or relator-general, of the 12th Ordinary General World Synod of Bishops meeting in Rome in early October 2008.



Ouellet is associated with Communio, a journal of theology established by moderate-to-conservative Catholics after the Second Vatican Council, and with Hans Urs von Balthasar, a renowned twentieth century Swiss theologian.

Quiet revolution

He has suggested that changes around the Quiet Revolution in Quebec in the 1960s went too far. He was created Cardinal Priest of Santa Maria in Traspontina by John Paul II in the consistory of 21 October 2003.


Ouellet has supported a return to Eucharistic adoration and the Gregorian chant.

Pastoral approach

A report from the National Catholic Reporter, anticipating the 2005 papal election, placed Ouellet among twenty papal possibilities ."[P]eople who have worked with Ouellet," said the report, "describe him as friendly, humble and flexible, and a man not so captive to his own intellectual system as to make him incapable of listening to others."

Catholic education

Cardinal Ouellet was sharply critical of the Ethics and religious culture course of the Quebec education ministry, saying that it relativized the role of faith within the realm of religion and culture. [1]

Church persecutions

Cardinal Ouellet has argued that the Catholic Church is persecuted in contemporary secular Quebec because the Church is telling the truth. [2]

Public apology

In a letter published in Quebec French-language newspapers on November 21, 2007, Cardinal Ouellet publicly apologized for what he described as past "errors" of the Roman Catholic Church in Quebec. Among the errors he wrote about were attitudes, prior to 1960, which promoted "anti-Semitism, racism, indifference to First Nations and discrimination against women and homosexuals."[3][4][5][6] Cardinal Ouellet said his letter was written in response to the public reaction to the statement he submitted to the Bouchard-Taylor Commission, and that it was inspired by a similar letter issued in 2000 by Pope John Paul II.[7]

External links


Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Maurice Couture
Archbishop of Quebec
la:Marcus Ouelletno:Marc Ouelletpt:Marc Ouellet

ru:Уэлле, Марк

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